On Thursday, April 22, federal ministers made an announcement regarding Canada's international travel restrictions. During the update, they announced a ban on direct flights from India and from Pakistan, both for 30 days and specifically for passenger flights.

Minister Alghabra said he's making the call to "halt direct passenger air traffic from those countries effective 11:30 p.m. EST tonight" as COVID-19 virus variants increase in these places.

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Canada suspends flights arriving from India and Pakistan for 30 days – April 22, 2021 www.youtube.com

In addition, he said that "passengers who depart from India or Pakistan via an indirect route after 11:30 p.m. eastern tonight will need to obtain a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test at their last point of departure."

The B.1.617 variant, a COVID-19 virus variant first detected in India, has reportedly been detected in Canada in both B.C. and Quebec, according to Global News.

This is currently being called a "variant of interest" rather than a "variant of concern," said B.C.'s top doctor in Thursday's COVID-19 update.